Wow, so I guess the more things change the more they stay the same. Just like at the beginning of the 2011-12 season when I was waiting the entire offseason for the season to start, the Islanders front office and overall team has fallen flat on their face and taken the entire fan base with them.
The excitement of last season's fluke run is over. Let's face it, the Islanders got hot at the right time and before the normal regular season would have seen them fall like a rock back to the bottom of the standings, the short season ended.
Faced with the excitement of a fan base that bought into the fluke, the front office once again crapped all over itself. Gone is a promising young goal scorer for a also-ran useless Bridgeport 4th liner because the expert front office didn't like him. Never mind the geniuses running the team paired him with Marty Reasoner and Eric Boulton and wondered why he wasn't scoring goals.
After watching Evgeni Nabokov cost the Islanders a first round win with his inability to stop a puck, the wonder/uber geniuses in the front office decided a 38-year old about to collapse of exhaustion at the end of a 48-game season, was just perfect to play 70 of the 82 games. Why bother trading for a young, talented goal tender like New Jersey or Toronto? The result is another season of blown third period leads to inferior teams who get real healthy coming to play on Long Island.
After letting Mark Streit go, which everyone thought was necessary, no other veteran defenseman was brought in because the super geniuses in the front office didn't want to block the future of draft picks Griffin Reinhardt and Ryan Pulock, while also watching talented defenseman in their system like Branden Kitchon leave. So what happens now that the season has started? No young/future defenseman is anywhere near Long Island as Reinhardt, Pulock and everyone else that showed talent and promise in the summer was left for another year of seasoning. Meanwhile, the group at the pro level is old, slow, small and sloppy. Since no help is available because they future is stuck where they are until next year, this is a problem that the front office can't explain with any legitimacy.
Now that we are in year 7 of the rebuilding process, it would be nice to see our young talent instead of locking it away in Saskatchewan, then trading it away or letting it go because their contract ran out. How on earth can offseason after offseason go by and no improvements made to help our supposed "core"?
I thought moving to Brooklyn would finally give the incompetent/bored/brain dead/ Charles Wang reason to give a damn about his investment and the fans crying for a owner/front office that cares. Obviously not. I would suggest the Islanders trade to bring in a solid defenseman and goaltender, but with the theft of the last 2 trades Garth Snow has made, I beg the Islanders to NOT make a trade. Obviously Snow is so incapable of doing his job that I pray he just gets his pay check and sit with his thumb in his mouth before totally destroying this team.
The lunacy of giving away two draft picks, including a first rounder this year that is certain to be a top-five pick, Snow can't be trusted to do anything other than just sit and collect the money he is stealing from the fans and real hockey enthusiasts. Along with Jack Capuano, who Wang keeps on because he is the lowest paid coach in the NHL, this speaks volumes of how Wang values his hockey team or the fans his rips off every night.
So what happened to all the promise of last season? It wasn't real. Why? Because Charles Wang doesn't care about this hockey team, the fans or anyone else. He won't bring in quality players when they are available as free agents. I feel very, very sorry for John Tavares who will waste the next 5 years of his career waiting for the rebuilding process that will never come.
Fans can do little to Wang other than picket outside the stadium and not show up to pay ticket prices to watch a last place team in a condemned building. If Wang wants to he has the ability to turn things around, hire a legit GM, hire a legit coach and make sure this is the last season the Islanders fall flat on their face. Not much can be done right now, as there are gigantic holes on defense and Ryan Strome, Ryan Pulock and Reinhardt should not be traded like Niño was (for a minor league hack). The Islanders will likely finish last or next to last in the Metropolitan Division, which means in the bottom five of the NHL, good enough to give Buffalo a terrific pick. What will make this fiasco unbearable, is if Wang keeps status quo in the front office, Vanek departs at the end of a season where he starts pulling a Kirk Muller, and Snow buries the organization by trading away Ryan Strome, Pulock and Reinhardt for Patrick Dwyer or Tyler Pitlick.
If the fans truly want change, they need to hold Wang accountable and demand answers for another wasted offseason and regular season of mind-numbing trades, useless vets on our roster (Bouchard, Clutterbuck and Regin) over our supposed future (Nelson, Strome, Pedan) and a constant ignoring of our needs.